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IT BEGAN TO DAWN
In the first verse of Matthew 28 are words that introduce the difference
between the cross of Calvary and the rising of Jesus from the grave. They
are hinges that open the door of this dark, black cave and let some of the
light of glory in. "It began to dawn."
The dark always comes before the dawn. It certainly did in this case.
The preceeding week had been a dark one for those who followed Jesus. They
had seen their hopes and aspirations smashed into a thousand pieces. On that
Friday -- How can anybody call it Good Friday? -- they heard the jeers, the
big words that little men use when they think they are safe, from that angry
mob. "He saved others, let Him save Himself." "Son of God, ha!" And they
saw Him hanging there, pain-wracked, humiliated, dying. Then with one great
cry He died. lie died.
The great curtain in the Jewish temple that separated the Holy of Holies
was split from top to bottom as though to say, "There is nothing holy in this
world." The earth shook in disgust that mankind would slay its creator, its
Lord. Does a dying man cut the oxygen hose? Yet they killed the One who came
to save them.
There was darkness at noonday as though God were saying, "This is too
revolting a sight to see." Yet men had to see it and remember it and know
that this is the only sacrifice for our sins; so the lightning unzipped the
darkness. History was taking flash pictures of the most gruesome scene it
has ever know. "Hle is dead," they said.
The centurian said he was dead. "Surely this was the Son of God," he
Joseph and Nicodemus knew He was dead. They tenderly took His body,
prepared it, and laid it in a tomb. The hollow thud of that rock being
rolled into place to close the tomb said, "He is dead."
And the word spread, "He is dead and buried."
Back in Jericho-there was a darkness at high noon in the heart of
Zacchaeus because He that had brought such ijoy and pea ...
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